Articles tagged with "france"

Huge European Surf Takes Centerstage in 2009 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards

Posted by: on February 6th, 2009


Unusual weather patterns in the
North Pacific have produced the hottest January on record in much of
California, and have left West Coast big wave surfers largely starved for
waves for the last two months.  Likewise, the normally battered Hawaiian
coastlines have suffered through a similar drought of extreme high surf
warnings this winter season.  But at the same time, the Atlantic Ocean has
produced a bounty of massive storms and swells, becoming a key focus of
the 2009 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards as the event heads into the
final six weeks of its yearlong event period.

Among the most spectacular images to emerge from the barrage of high surf
is a shot of Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Belharra, an outer
reef located in the Basque Country near the French/Spanish border.  The
photograph by Stephane Salerno is reminiscent of several other massive
rides at the break which earned XXL Biggest Wave nominations in 2003 and

While some of the Atlantic storms lashing the European coastline have
arrived with unfavorable weather, there have been many days where the
conditions have come together for the surfers who have been on the prowl
for the right window of opportunity.  Isla Pancha, in the Cantabria region
of Spain, has produced some excellent entries for Basque surfers Asier
Muniain, Ibon Amatriain and Aritza Saratxaga along with Cantabrian Oscar
Gomez.  To view these images along with hundreds of additional entries
from around the world, visit the event website at

According to Surfline, the official surf forecast of the XXL, the trend

“The North Atlantic has been in a very active pattern over the past few
weeks producing a series of large swells,” said the Surfline forecast
team. “We continue to remain in a very active pattern with plenty of solid
swell due for the region over the coming days. The North Atlantic storm
track is expected to remain fairly active over the next couple of weeks
which means potential for even more XXL swell.”

A number of top International surfers have heeded the call and gone
“Across the Pond” to fill their need for winter power.  Perennial XXL
finalists Greg Long of San Clemente, California and Grant “Twiggy” Baker
of Durban, South Africa gave up their lengthy vigil at Northern
California’s Maverick’s and flew to Ireland some weeks ago.  The pair
connected with locals Fergal Smith and Tom Lowe and the group has been
treated to what Long described as, “Crazy barrels…kinda like cold water
Teahupoo,” in reference to the deadly Tahitian break.  Look for some
Monster Barrel entries from those sessions to appear on the XXL event site
in the coming days.

Additional new video clips and still photos continue to arrive from around
the world week after week in all key categories of the event including the
Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award
powered by Honda, Monster Tube Award and Monster Paddle Award.  Also
featured are the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award and the Billabong
Girl’s Performance Award.  In total, over $130,000 in prize money will be
awarded in the ninth annual edition of big wave surfing’s top event.  The
competition is open to all qualified, invited surfers at any surf break
around the world over the course of a full year and is based on the
photographic evidence.

Although there is still plenty of time for more shocking swell events to
occur before the event period concludes with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox
on March 20, 2009, the world’s big wave elite are already making plans to
attend the gala Billabong XXL Awards ceremony this April 17 at the Grove
Theater in Anaheim, California.  While the 2000 seats at the Grove are
invitation only, the entire evening’s activities from Red Carpet arrivals
to the final award will be broadcast during a live webcast at and televised as a one-hour special on ESPN2 on the
evening of May 28.

Adrian Buchan Beats Kelly Slater to be Crowned Quiksilver Pro France Champion

Posted by: on September 25th, 2008



Adrian Buchan Beats Kelly Slater to be Crowned Quiksilver Pro France Champion

Adrian Buchan Beats Kelly Slater to be Crowned Quiksilver Pro France Champion



HOSSEGOR, France (Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008) – Adrian Buchan (AUS) has beaten eight-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) to win his first ever ASP World Tour event – the Quiksilver Pro France – in Hossegor, France today.

Buchan beat Slater 15.73 to 15.16 in a tight heat held at Les Bourdaines this afternoon. The final berth was the first of Buchan’s ASP World Tour career. Prior to winning the Quiksilver Pro France, Buchan he had never advanced from the quarterfinal round.

“I can’t believe it, to have Kelly in the final and to beat him, I am speechless,” Buchan said. “He is my hero. I have watched him win five events this year – he has just been phenomenal. He sets the bar so high for all of us guys, I am really thankful that surfing has got such a great custodian.”

Had Buchan lost the heat, Slater would have clinched his ninth ASP World Title. Buchan led the heat for most of the 35-minute affair with Slater needing a very attainable 7.51 to change the situation. The eight-time ASP World Champion caught a wave with seconds to go but came up short.

“I tried not to think about it paddling out for the final,” Buchan said. “I had visions of him winning the title but I just tried to focus on myself and what I had to do out there – get two really good waves. Luckily Kelly did not get that one at the end.”

Buchan, who has been on tour for three years, spent the first half of his rookie year injured. He earned an injury wildcard to compete on the tour in 2007 and finished the year rated 19th. He jumps to world No. 9 with this result.

“I have been injured so obviously doing well and to have a win today makes it all sweet,” Buchan said. “My goal this year was to finish in the top 10 so we’ll see, we might have to take a look at reassessing that.”

Slater dug deep in an effort to win his sixth event of the season, willing a last minute wave to pop up in the dying seconds. Despite needing a relatively small score, he was unable to pull out the last-minute comeback he’s renowned for.

“It’s cool that it came down to a wave in the end, at least it made it interesting,” Slater said. “Truth is though, Ace was more in sync with it. He got those open face ones and did the turns. I had one wave I surfed pretty good on that I knew was going to get me back in it. Then I just needed a chance in the end but there wasn’t quite enough time – I should have pushed for a 40-minute final.”

Slater only earned a 2.23 on the wave he caught with three seconds left. He will now have to wait until the next event in Mundaka to have another chance to clinch.

 “I didn’t think I had the chance to win with that last ride,” Slater said. “I would have been bummed if they gave me the score on it. Maybe people didn’t see it, but my foot came off, I didn’t make that 360 very clean and I didn’t really get above the lip on that air. Maybe if there would have been a punt section where I could have done a big air I could have possibly gotten the score, but I knew that score wasn’t going to be close. It’s frustrating though, to be so close – literally one score away from winning the title. I guess at this point I’m two heat wins from winning the title.”

If Kelly finishes 9th or better in Mundaka he will win the world title. If he bows out with a 17th or 33rd and Mick Fanning (AUS) or Taj Burrow (AUS) win the event, the race continues until Brazil.

Slater beat Adriano de Souza (BRA) in the semifinals today. De Souza and Slater have now met eight times, with Slater getting the best of the Brazilian each time. De Souza moves to World No. 4 with the result.

“It is great to surf against Kelly,” de Souza said. “He pushes my level further and forces you to put so much energy into the heat. I learned so much from this heat and I hope that next time I can get past that one. I am really proud. I came to Europe to get some really good results and I did already so I am really happy. Making the semis is a really good result for me so I hope I can keep it up and stay in the Top 10 –that is my main focus this year.”

Buchan beat Damien Hobgood (USA) in the semifinals en route to his maiden victory.

“I never really had a stellar heat the whole contest, so that was kind of a bummer but I’m really stoked with this result and hopefully I can build some momentum,” Hobgood said. “This is the result I needed to get my year started. It is a good start to the end of the year for me.”

Hobgood moved from 31st to 26th on the ASP World Tour ratings with the result. Only the Top 27 ASP World Tour surfers at year’s end automatically requalify for the following year.

The ASP Top 45 will now head to Mundaka in the Basque Country of Spain for the ninth stop of 11 on the 2008 ASP World Tour.

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Final Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Final: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.74 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 15.16


Semifinal Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.90 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.97

Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.17 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.83


Quarterfinal Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.93 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.40

Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.33

Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.34

Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.34 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.00


Round 4 Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.50 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 9.33

Heat 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.66 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.00

Heat 3: Mick Campbell (AUS) 14.00 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.17

Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.27 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 14.77

Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.33

Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 10.66

Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.50 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.57

Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.67 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.50


Top 10 ASP World Tour Ratings after the Quiksilver Pro France:

1. Kelly Slater (USA) – 7852 points

2. Taj Burrow (AUS) – 6002 points

3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) – 5668 points

4. Adriano De Souza (BRA) – 5426 points

5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) – 5373 points

6. Mick Fanning (AUS) – 5310 points

7. Bobby Martinez (USA) – 5092 points

8. CJ Hobgood (USA) – 4880 points

9. Adrian Buchan (AUS) – 4719 points

10. Jeremy Flores (FRA) – 4407 points



Quiksilver Pro France

Stop No. 8 of 11 on the 2008 ASP World Tour

Southwest Coast of France

September 19-28, 2008



Bourez Eliminates Durbidge, Slater Could Clinch ASP World Title No. 9 Tomorrow

Posted by: on September 24th, 2008



Tahitian wildcard Michel Bourez caused his second major upset of the Quiksilver Pro France today, eliminating current ASP World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS). Bourez eliminated Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Round 2 yesterday.

Tahitian wildcard Michel Bourez caused his second major upset of the Quiksilver Pro France today, eliminating current ASP World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS). Bourez eliminated Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Round 2 yesterday.

HOSSEGOR, France (Tuesday, September 23, 2008) – Tahitian wildcard Michel Bourez may have hindered Kelly Slater’s 2007 ASP World Title hopes by knocking him out of the Quiksilver Pro France last year, but he certainly helped the Floridian’s cause today.

Bourez beat ASP World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS) – one of only two surfers factoring in whether or not Slater can clinch his ninth ASP World Title in France – by posting a near-perfect heat total today. Bourez opened the heat with a 9.80, backed it up with a 9.77 and left Durbidge searching for 19.57 points to swing the scenario his way.

“The heat was really good,” Bourez said. “There were a couple of really good rights and lefts out there but the rip was really strong and I needed to catch the first wave so that is what I did. I got that first left and I didn’t know it was a 9.80, I thought it was just an 8.00 and then I got that 9.77 after and Bede was combed so I’m stoked.”

Bourez is currently rated 14th on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) – the top 15 competitors on that series qualify for the ASP World Tour at year’s end. Having eliminated an eight-time ASP World Champion in Slater at this event last year, and then outside hopefuls for the 2008 ASP World Title in Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Durbidge this week, Bourez certainly seems to have the skills to mix it up amongst the world’s best.

“It doesn’t feel too good to be interfering with the title because those guys are here to win and I’m just here to beat those guys,” Bourez said. “Hopefully I’ll be here to beat those guys next year. I’m just in this event to prove myself and surf good waves – we surf really small waves on the WQS so I’m stoked to have a heat like that.”

Slater is now two steps closer to ASP World Title No. 9 after today’s proceedings. The scenario coming into the event was such that should Slater win the event, with Durbidge bowing out before the Final and ASP World No. 2 Taj Burrow being eliminated before the Semifinals, he would win the 2008 title in France.

Durbidge is out and Slater is into Round 4 after winning a tough heat over wildcard Joan Duru (FRA). Duru had the heat lead until Slater found two 8.00s late in the heat – he admitted that he has been slightly rattled by being so close to clinching ASP World Title No. 9 and that his surfing in France is not what it has been in earlier events this year.

“That heat, even though I had a couple good scores, was under what my average has been all year,” Slater said. “There hasn’t been a stellar performance by me yet but I guess the good news is that it can only get better.”

Slater could potentially win the title tomorrow, but he knows that winning the event and watching Burrow lose in Round 4 or the Quarterfinals are both best-case scenarios.

“I’d like to do it here but I don’t expect that is going to happen,” Slater said. “Taj looks good.”

Burrow beat injury replacement wildcard Gabe Kling (USA) in Round 3 today. With the ASP World Title so close to being a done deal, Burrow has his eyes on a different title – winner of the Quiksilver Pro France.

“The title is pretty much decided so I’m just looking to win events,” Burrow said. “I’ve come close to winning a couple of events this year, so I would like to take this one out – that’s all I’m really thinking about, not really the points situation. It is cool to be sitting second and keeping Kelly on his toes.”

Burrow will have to get by high-flying rookie Dane Reynolds (USA) first. Reynolds beat fellow 2008 Dream Tour rookie Jordy Smith (ZAF) in an exciting aerial affair today. The first 20-minutes of the heat were ultra-exciting, unfortunately, when the waves went flat two-thirds of the way through the heat, Smith still needed a combination of scores to beat Reynolds.

“I had fun,” Reynolds said. “It’s kind of a shame it turned out like that in the end. We didn’t have waves for the last 10 minutes. It doesn’t take much for him to get a score, well… he was combed, but he could have gotten a 9.00 and then a 7.00. He could have gotten that easily but the heat didn’t come around for him.”

Reynolds has now beat Smith twice in ASP World Tour competition, winning their heat in Tahiti earlier this year.

“It’s sort of a fluke I think because I definitely look at him and see him doing things I couldn’t dream of doing,” Reynolds said. “But with contests that’s just the way it goes sometimes, it’s definitely junky and rippy and funny out there, it just went my way. I’ll be nervous when I meet him again for sure.”

Chances are excellent the Quiksilver Pro France will wrap up tomorrow. An official decision will be made at 8am local time.

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Round 3 Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.17 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.50

Heat 2: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 10.83 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.50

Heat 3: Ben Dunn (AUS) 14.00 def. Chris Ward (USA) 7.84

Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.67 def. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 12.83

Heat 5: Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 12.00

Heat 6: Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.56 def. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 12.5

Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.00 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.46

Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.00 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 13.00

Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.34 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 9.77

Heat 10: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.26 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.50

Heat 11: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.43 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.33

Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.83 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.17

Heat 13: Michel Bourez (PYF) 19.57 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.67

Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.00 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 7.57

Heat 15: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.17 def. Daniel Wills (AUS) 8.13

Heat 16: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.17 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 6.73


Round 4 Quiksilver Pro France Match-ups

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)

Heat 2: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)

Heat 3: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)

Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)

Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

Heat 6: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Pancho Sullivan (HAW)

Heat 7: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)

Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)

Heat 10: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)

Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)

Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)

Heat 13: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)

Heat 15: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)


Heat 16: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)

8:30am Start at Les Bourdaines for Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro France

Posted by: on September 23rd, 2008

HOSSEGOR, France (Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008) – Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro France will resume at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse, France this morning. A new swell is expected to build throughout the day, peaking tomorrow morning.

World No. 6, Adriano de Souza (BRA) will meet South Africa’s Travis Logie in the first heat of the round. Competition will commence at 8:30 am.

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Round 3 Quiksilver Pro France Match-ups

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)

Heat 2: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)

Heat 3: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)

Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)

Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

Heat 6: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Pancho Sullivan (HAW)

Heat 7: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)

Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)

Heat 10: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)

Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)

Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)

Heat 13: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)

Heat 15: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)

Heat 16: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)

Quiksilver Pro France

Stop No. 8 of 11 on the 2008 ASP World Tour

South West Coast of France

September 19-28, 2008

Flores and de Souza Make their Moves at the Quiksilver Pro France

Posted by: on September 22nd, 2008



De Souza shakes Aranburu's hand after their action packed Round 2 clash.

De Souza shakes Aranburu



HOSSEGOR, France (Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008) – Twenty-year-old Jeremy Flores (FRA) and 21-year-old Adriano de Souza (BRA) have a few things in common. They both qualified for the ASP World Tour as WQS No. 1 surfers, they are both rated in the ASP World Tour Top 10 and they both won their Round 2 Quiksilver Pro France heats held at Les Estagnots today.

De Souza currently sits in 6th on the ASP ratings, Flores 10th – they both are in a position to improve their ratings at the Quiksilver Pro France now that three of the Top 10 surfers have bowed out of the competition with 33rd place results.

Reigning ASP World Champion and World No. 5 Mick Fanning (AUS) and World No. 4 Joel Parkinson (AUS) lost their Round 2 heats yesterday. Former three-time ASP World Champion and World No. 9 Andy Irons (HAW) failed to show up for his Round 2 heat against Jihad Kohdr (BRA) today.

De Souza used that knowledge as extra incentive to win a seesaw battle against Aritz Aranburu (EUK) this morning. Aranburu surfed well but will have to wait until the next event in his native Basque country to please the European fans who were out in force today.

“I saw Fanning and Parko lose last night and thought, ‘this is a big opportunity for me to get into the Top 5,’” de Souza said. “That was a tough heat. Aritz had the crowd on his side so it was pretty hard to win but I’m really happy, the waves were really pumping. This event is very important for me so I’m just going to try my best.”

Flores surfed solidly to eliminate Australia’s Dan Ross today. Flores has been outspoken about the pressure he feels to perform at home in France – but he may have stumbled on a solution for that stress this morning.

“I woke up late and got here five minutes before my heat but I felt good because I did not have time to feel any pressure,” Flores said.  “It is great to have all this support from so many people on the beach. I haven’t got through many heats in the past in France so when it happens people are definitely pushing and it is a pleasure. All this support makes me want to win even more and that is why when I lose I am even more frustrated.”

Portugal’s Tiago Pires won a tough heat over Timmy Reyes (USA) to advance to the next round of the Quiksilver Pro. With the exception of a 3rd in Indonesia, Pires has been unluckily eliminated from several close heats this year and has a scoreline riddled with 33rds and 17ths to show for it. He went all out on a wave at the end of his Round 2 duel and earned a 9.00 to advance.

“I’ve had some really tight heats so it feels good to make it through this one,” Pires said. “That wave I earned a 9.00 for was full anger,” Pires said. “I hadn’t caught any good waves and I didn’t want to lose that heat so I just put all my energy into those turns and it paid off.

The fourth and final European to surf in the Quiksilver Pro today, Miky Picon (FRA), was eliminated by Brazil’s Heitor Alves. Alves earned 15.17 points to Picon’s 4.77.

“I had a tough heat yesterday where I could not get any waves so I went out really motivated to surf well,” Alves said. “I was more focused today; I found the rhythm and managed to get an 8.00 then a 6.00 so I am pretty happy to win like that.”

Alves is currently rated 29th on the ASP World Tour and is looking to put in a performance similar to his semifinal showing in California last week. The top 27 guys on the ASP World Tour requalify for the tour the following year – the top 15 guys on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) and three wildcards replace the bottom 18 surfers at year’s end.

“I am definitely chasing a big result here in France and I will be more and more focused and prepared because any heat will be important for me. I hope I can requalify without having to surf the last WQS events.”

Californian’s Bobby Martinez and Chris Ward won their Round 2 heats, as did Hawaii’s Fred Patacchia and Florida’s Damien Hobgood. Australians advancing today included Kai Otton, Mick Campbell and Luke Stedman.

The next call on competition status will be made tomorrow at 8:30am.

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Today’s Round 2 Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.50 def. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 11.90

Heat 6: Jihad Khodr (BRA) 9.93 def. Andy Irons (HAW) n/s

Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.5 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.83

Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.17 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 7.10

Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.26 def. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.34

Heat 10: Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.66 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 2.10

Heat 11: Luke Stedman (AUS) 15.43 def. Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.84

Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.00 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 10.23

Heat 13: Chris Ward (USA) 12.43 def.  Royden Bryson (ZAF) 10.93

Heat 14: Tiago Pires (PRT) 15.50 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 14.84

Heat 15: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.67 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.17

Heat 16: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.17 def. Mikael Picon (FRA) 4.77

Top Seeds Struggle on Day 1 of the Quiksilver Pro France – Fanning, Parkinson Out

Posted by: on September 21st, 2008



Kieren Perrow earned a perfect 10 after emerging from this barrel and doing a huge floater.

Kieren Perrow earned a perfect 10 after emerging from this barrel and doing a huge floater.



HOSSEGOR, France (Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008) –Eight of the ASP World Tour’s Top 10 surfers were sent to Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro France today. Two of them are out of Quiksilver Pro contention after losing their elimination round heats held late this afternoon.

Reigning ASP World Champion and current World No. 5 Mick Fanning (AUS) came into the Quiksilver Pro France as the defending event champion – he will leave with his second 33rdplace result of the year. Fanning was beaten by less than a point by injury replacement surfer and former Top 45 surfer Gabe Kling (USA) in shifty conditions.

“Mick has been one of my favorite surfers and I can’t really believe that happened,” Kling said. “It was so hard out there and him needing that small of score… I just got lucky but I’ll take it. I’m stoked to win though, he’s a reigning world champion.”

Joel Parkinson (AUS), World No. 4, was also beaten in Round 2. He lost to Tahitian wildcard Michel Bourez, the same surfer who eliminated eight-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) from the Quiksilver Pro last year.

Slater’s Round 1 heat was won by wildcard Joan Duru. His Round 2 heat was nearly won by wildcard Tim Boal (FRA). Slater trailed for much of his Round 2 bout with Boal, but he came back at the end of the heat and then sealed the deal with a last-minute 9.00.

“I felt alright in that heat but all day something has been off, I’m not sure what it is,” Slater said. “I had a feeling Tim was going to get a score, even before he got that first good one – I had a feeling was going to get a score and get back in the heat. He was patient and just sat waiting for the rights. It’s the wildcards and the low seeds that have been giving me trouble all year. I have to look out more for those guys than the top guys it seems like.”

Slater, like many of the top seeded surfers who lost heats today, said that the shifting, unpredictable nature of France’s beach breaks are a huge factor in making heats in Hossegor. Even Andy Irons, the Top 45 surfer who has fared the best in France over the years, was sent to Round 2 today. He meets Jihad Kohdr (BRA) in Heat 6.

“This is a tough place for a contest,” Slater said. “It’s really amazing that Andy won this contest three times and got a second the year before that because the waves change so much and it really is the luck of the draw out in those heats. The guy who gets the best waves is going to win and it happens a lot here at this contest.”

Slater admitted that the opportunity to clinch his ninth ASP World Title in France (should he win the event and his closest competitors bow out soon) was toying with his nerves and might have been a factor in his having to surf Round 2 today.

“It probably just has my head a little bit – thinking about it,” Slater said. “It’s hard to get that monkey off your back, thinking you had the chance to do something like that. I guess I have been thinking about it a little bit over the last week and I just haven’t gotten in sync so far. That heat I felt pretty good, still not great, but I got a couple of good scores – those lefts panned out for me and allowed me to get a couple big moves.”

World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS) scraped through the last heat of the day – Heat 4 of Round 2. Only he and Taj Burrow (AUS) are mathematically capable of keeping Slater from clinching in France should he win the event.

Burrow was the only Top 5 surfer to win his Round 1 heat today – he enjoyed the afternoon off after beating Tim Reyes (USA) and Boal earlier in the day.

“A few red singlets have lost today because the conditions are so difficult,” Taj said. “The tide changes so much here that you really just have to go out there and take what you are dealt, so I was just trying to pick the right waves and put up a couple of good scores. I didn’t do anything amazing but I got a couple.” 

Burrow comes into the Quiksilver Pro France fresh off a final berth in California. Burrow led most of that final but suffered a last minute loss to Slater and had to settle for second. The loss was especially difficult given it significantly decreased any hope the current World No. 2 had of winning the 2009 ASP World Title.

“That was a hard one to swallow,” Burrow said. “Kelly has pretty much won the title, mathematically it’s next to impossible to catch him, so I’m just trying to win a few events.”

Kieren Perrow (AUS) was awarded a unanimous perfect 10 for a deep barrel followed by a big free-fall floater in Round 1. Perrow competed on the ASP World Tour from 2001 to 2004 before requalifying this year. His perfect 10 previous to today’s was earned in Tahiti in 2001.

“That wave was just perfect,” Perrow said. “I could see it was going to double-up when I paddled over that second one. I haven’t had a 10 in years so it was good to get barreled and get one. The wave was so good anyone would have got a 10 on it.” 

Perrow forced Fanning into Round 2 with the ride, but just barely.

 “When I heard that I got a 10 I still thought I’d be in second,” Perrow said. “I still thought I’d need a score because they hadn’t read out my 5.0 and I only thought I had a 3.5. Even then it was pretty close still, Mick didn’t need much and he was right behind me. It would have been disappointing to get a 10 and lose.”

The next call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7:30. It is looking likely that Round 2 will resume at Les Estagnots again tomorrow.


Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 Results:

Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.67 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 15.00

Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.07 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.00

Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.00 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.67

Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 9.44



Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.84, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.06, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 8.6

Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.13, Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.2, Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.1

Heat 3: Roy Powers (HAW) 13.6, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.56, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.9

Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.97, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 6.63, Andy Irons (HAW) 2.34

Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.67, Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.40, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 5.83

Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.50, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.84, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.50

Heat 7: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.16, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.30

Heat 8: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.50, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.94, Chris Ward (USA) 9.90

Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.50, Tim Boal (FRA) 5.77

Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.00, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.5

Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.94, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.67, Mikael Picon (FRA) 10.34

Heat 12: Daniel Wills (AUS) 16.17, Heitor Alves (BRA) 4.74, Bruce Irons (HAW) 2.77

Heat 13: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.80, Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.83, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.10

Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.16, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.63, Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.10

Heat 15: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.50, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.30, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.44

Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.66, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.34, Luke Munro (AUS) 7.76

Quiksilver Pro France

Stop No. 8 of 11 on the 2008 ASP World Tour

South West Coast of France

September 19-28, 2008